Walt Disney World Orlando Restaurants

The dining scene in Orlando was at one time epitomized by a plethora of fast-food fare, but there's been such an explosion of artisanal and locally sourced restaurants over the past five years that there are now seven local chefs and nine international celebrity chefs with James Beard Award nominations around the city. Some of the best restaurants in town can be found in resort hotels and theme-park complexes such as Disney Springs, but if you have the time, explore the local treasures beyond the resorts.

The signs of Orlando's dining progress is most evident in the last place one would look: Disney's fast-food outlets. Every eatery on Disney property offers a tempting vegetarian option, and kiddie meals come with healthful sides and drinks unless you specifically request otherwise. Chefs at Disney’s table-service restaurants consult face-to-face with guests about food allergies.

Around town, locals flock to the Ravenous Pig, the Rusty Spoon, Artisan's Table, and other gastropubs where the menu changes regularly; Luma on Park, a suave home of thoughtfully created cutting-edge meals; and any number of dining establishments competing to serve the very finest steak. Orlando's culinary blossoming began in 1995, when Disney's signature California Grill debuted, featuring farm-to-table cuisine and wonderful wines by the glass. Soon after, celebrity chefs started opening up shop. And in 2013, Disney completely revamped California Grill so it's a trendsetter once again.

Orlando's destination restaurants can be found in the theme parks, as well as in the outlying towns. Sand Lake Road is now known as Restaurant Row for its eclectic collection of worthwhile tables. Here you'll find fashionable outlets for sushi and seafood, Italian and chops, Hawaiian fusion and upscale Lebanese. Heading into the residential areas, the neighborhoods of Winter Park (actually its own city), Thornton Park, and Downtown Orlando are prime locales for chow. Scattered throughout Central Florida, low-key ethnic restaurants specialize in the fare of Turkey, India, Peru, Thailand, Vietnam—you name it. Prices in these family-owned finds are usually delightfully low.

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  • 1. Aloha Isle

    $ | Magic Kingdom

    Few snacks are so popular as to have spawned their own merchandise, but the Pineapple Float at Aloha Isle has done just that. Dole pineapple...Read More

  • 2. Be Our Guest

    $$$$ | Magic Kingdom

    This massive restaurant offers a Beauty and the Beast theme, French flair, and the Magic Kingdom's first wine and beer served with a prix-fixe menu...Read More

  • 3. Boma–Flavors of Africa

    $$$$ | Animal Kingdom Resort Area

    Boma takes Western-style ingredients and prepares them with an African twist. You walk through an African marketplace–style dining room to help yourself at counters piled...Read More

  • 4. Harambe Market

    $ | Animal Kingdom

    Carved into the walkway leading to the Wildlife Express train, this four-station food mart offers a selection of ribs or chicken bowls and salads. Everyone...Read More

  • 5. Liberty Tree Tavern

    $$$$ | Magic Kingdom

    Now serving beer and wine, this formerly dry tavern holds a prime spot on the parade route, so you can have a good meal while...Read More

  • 6. Maria & Enzo's Ristorante

    $$$ | Disney Springs

    This complex of three restaurants is a haven of authentic Italian cuisine served up by two internationally known chefs (though the Disney "story" tells of...Read More

  • 7. Raglan Road Irish Pub

    $$$ | Disney Springs

    If an authentic Irish pub—actually transported from the Old Country plank by plank—is your thing, Raglan Road is the place. In addition to excellent fish-and-chips...Read More

  • 8. Sanaa

    $$$ | Animal Kingdom Resort Area

    Most of the flavors are from India, yet Sanaa is really a celebration of the Spice Islands—locales off the coast of Africa that, for centuries,...Read More

  • 9. Satu'li Canteen

    $ | Animal Kingdom

    Situated in the heart of Pandora, Satu'li walks a line between fast-casual and fine dining with counter service and surprisingly sophisticated, internationally inspired dishes. The...Read More

  • 10. Tiffins

    $$$$ | Animal Kingdom

    Inspired by the worldwide journeys of Disney Imagineers, this wildly popular, upscale restaurant is possibly the best theme-park eatery—period. The menu is international, the inventive...Read More

  • 11. Tusker House

    $$$$ | Animal Kingdom

    This good-value restaurant offers all-buffet dining three meals a day, and a Donald's safari-theme character crew complements the African-esque decor and menu. In addition to...Read More

  • 12. 50's Prime Time Café

    $$$ | Disney's Hollywood Studios

    If you grew up in middle America in the 1950s—or you're just a fan of classic TV series like I Love Lucy and The Donna...Read More

  • 13. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

    $$$$ | EPCOT

    This restaurant has character buffets at all three meals, with an array of Disney princesses, including Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Snow White, Aurora, Mary Poppins, and...Read More

  • 14. Anaheim Produce

    $ | Disney's Hollywood Studios

    Assorted produce, tiny packs of oranges, and churros make this a great spot for an afternoon, pick-me-up snack. Featured craft beers, such as Kona's Longboard...Read More

  • 15. Anandapur Ice Cream Truck

    $ | Animal Kingdom

    It's hard to miss this funky truck serving strawberry, lemon, vanilla, and chocolate ice cream in different twists....Read More

  • 16. Auntie Gravity's Galactic Goodies

    $ | Magic Kingdom

    Looking for a snack on the go? Auntie Gravity's Galactic Goodies offers milkshakes, smoothies, and floats that are easy to eat while walking....Read More

  • 17. Biergarten Restaurant

    $$$$ | EPCOT

    Oktoberfest runs 365 days a year at this restaurant, where cheerful crowds and an oompah band set the stage for a buffet of German specialties....Read More

  • 18. Big River Grille & Brewing Works

    $$ | EPCOT Resort Area

    Strange but good brews—Rocket Red Ale, Southern Flyer Light Lager, Steamboat Pale Ale, Gadzooks Pilsner—abound at this microbrewery, where you can sip your suds inside...Read More

  • 19. Boatwright's Dining Hall

    $$$ | Disney Springs Resort Area

    Located riverside at Disney's Port Orleans Resort, this very impressive, handcrafted dining hall looks like the interior of a wooden sailing ship, complete with an...Read More

  • 20. Cape May Cafe

    $$$$ | EPCOT Resort Area

    With the feel of a New England seafood house—the type your grandma might enjoy—this bustling spot in the Beach Club Resort features popular buffet meals....Read More

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